A Colorful Morning at the Sunday Bac Ha Market in Northeastern Vietnam; Southeast Asia

A Colorful Morning at the Sunday Bac Ha Market in Northeastern Vietnam; Southeast Asia

A Colorful Morning at the Sunday Bac Ha Market in Northeastern Vietnam; Southeast Asia


I spent the better part of last year on a photographic journey through Southeast Asia. My wanderlust took me to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. It was a visual feast of monks clothed in saffron robes, the brights lights of the Singapore skyline, the golden spires of Buddhist temples, the stunning temples of Angkor Wat and the many colorful markets.

One of the reasons Southeast Asia attracts so many photographers are the many colorful minority ethnic markets such as the Bac Ha Sunday Market, located in Northeastern Vietnam.

Every Sunday, Bac Ha hosts the largest and most colorful market in the area and attracts villagers from the surrounding hill tribes such as the Flower H'mong, Phu La, Dzao, Tay and Nung minorities where they gather to buy and sell local products.

For photographers it is a circus of wild colors to witness all these ethnic minorities in their colorful, traditional clothing.

I spent two nights in Bac Ha to get a predawn start before the throngs of bus tour groups from Sapa showed up. I photographed these two women from the Flower H’mong hill tribe in a candid moment.

Check back for more of my adventures in Vietnam!

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Taken on: 6th May, 2012. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See Sam Antonio Photography's page of Flickr

Read more about Lao Cai

If travellers are headed anywhere north of Hanoi in Vietnam, it's likely to be Lao Cai province and the hilltribe town of Sapa. The province is geographically diverse, bordered to the east by Hoang Lien Son mountain range, part of which is Hoang Lien national park, which includes Mount Fansipan (Phanxipan), Vietnam's highest peak, at 3,143 metres above sea level.

Lao Cai town, the provincial capital, is both a border town to China – the westernmost crossing open to foreigners via Hekou -- and the gateway to Sapa. If it looks kind of new to you, that's because it is. The town was largely flattened by the Chinese during their invasion of 1979 and the international border crossing here did not re-open till the early 1990s. What you see today, including many of the glorious concrete egg-carton-style buildings, is just 30 years old.

Most visitors spend no longer than an hour or ... Read our complete Lao Cai travel guide

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